My wife and I are both Conservative Republican Mormons. So, it should be no surprise who we were rooting for in the recent 2012 presidential election. (As an aside, I am one of three Mormons at my workplace, and the only one who voted for Mitt Romney.) I must say, we did not vote for Romney in the primary since we thought there was a better candidate. But from the first presidential debate, Romney had us, hook, line, and sinker. The more I watched him, the more I realized he was the good kind of Mormon. He’s not the type to throw his weight around as soon as he gets a little authority, as he supposes. I am convinced that he is a very noble man. A very good man. And I believed that he would actually be the first president since – I dunno, Washington maybe, to actually do something about the national deficit / debt. To me, that is the most important issue there is, more than any particular special interest, social program, or even military spending. If the debt gets past a certain point, then the dollar will begin to fail, the economy will crumble, and all of those noble programs will come down with it anyway.
But enough about the political side of things, this is a sappy chick blog, so I better talk about my feelings for a while. As I watched more and more news stories, Youtube videos, etc., I began to become more and more excited about Mitt. So much that I confess, I found myself lying awake at night thinking about how wonderful he was, and what a phenomenal leader he would make. I of course don’t care for Clinton or Obama. But I think I dislike George W even more, and am not particularly fond of G H W Bush, so I was super-excited to finally have a candidate I really liked. I like him even more than Reagan. I began to think I might just go ahead and pop the question once the election was over.
I was so confident that Mitt would take it, it least by a hair, but maybe by a landslide. The first sign of trouble came a couple days out when I decided to check the odds in Vegas. You see, odds-makers don’t care about politics. They care about one thing, making $$$. I didn’t trust the polls completely, but I figured odds-makers would favor the person who was truly likely to win. Once I Wikipediaed how to read odds, to my surprise, they were favoring Obama, and that by a pretty wide margin. That was a bad sign. Then, to make it even more worrisome, no less than three conservative talk show personalities predicted an Obama victory. Hmmmm. But I still held on to my belief, my hope that Mitt would take it. I wanted that sooooo badly.
I got home early on election night. The results began to come in, and the early news on the swing states was not positive. In fact, there was very little of good news (from our point of view) the whole night. I think we had maybe a combined 90 seconds where we were hopeful, but that didn’t last. Eventually they called the election for B.O., and even then, we held on to a desperate hope that it would work out, until the truth was inescapable: Romney had lost. Every state that the polls had shown leaning even a little to Romney went to Romney. Every state leaning towards Barack went to Barack. And the battleground states, infuriatingly enough, well, every last one fell blue (except Florida so far).
Once we realized the truth of it, the finality of it, we were devastated. Now, of course, I have been disappointed in the outcome of presidential elections before. Who hasn’t? You get angry, want to cuss and yell, and then you pretty much forget about it. This was different. There was a feeling deeper inside, a feeling of such despair, such denial that it was hard to deal with. I had really put my hopes in Mitt, and it didn’t work out. I felt almost as if I had just personally campaigned for months, and lost. I guess it’s a little like the feeling of losing a long-time job, or even a loved one. An ache that leaves for a while, but always returns. I know I will be criticized for this – people will think, “Man, it’s just an election, get over it, dude!” But it’s tied so strongly to our future as a nation, and I was so set on it, it is a horrible disappointment.
A little before the election, a friend of Becky’s, in response to a glowing post about Mitt, replied “putting your trust in one person is irresponsible. (in my opinion)” We didn't really care for that, for he is such a good man, and there was such promise that he would be able to turn things around. Well, jump forward to the day right after the election. I found myself online, looking at a graph that shows the spending versus the income of the federal government. Right around the housing crisis, the lines began to diverge. As I stared at those red and blue lines to make sense of them, trying to see Obama’s hand in all of this, a new thought began to dawn on me.
I think we are headed for some seriously difficult times as a nation. If (or when, rather) the debt hits a critical mass, and the dollar begins to fail, it could mean 50% unemployment and 100% inflation (just imagine getting your salary cut in half each year). But that’s not really the president’s fault, nor is it really his responsibility alone to fix it. The fault and the responsibility are also ours. So, I really don’t feel quite so badly anymore about the outcome of the election. I will just go about trying to live a good life, and to live within our means and pay off our own debt, just as I had hoped Romney would do for the United States federal government. And that, in the end, is really all that matters.